4th annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta, co-sponsored by DNREC’s Reclaim Our River program, set for Saturday, Aug. 5 on Nanticoke River

BLADES – The fourth annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta – presented by the Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, in conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Reclaim Our River Program, the Town of Blades and the Nanticoke River Sail & Power Squadron – will cast off on Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Nanticoke River Public Marine Park, 26 North Market Street, Blades, DE 19973. Sign-in and registration begin at 11 a.m., with judging of boats’ appearances at noon, and races starting at 12:30 p.m.

Racing action in the DNREC-sponsored 3rd Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta last year in Blades; the 2017 regatta will have winners in five categories

The Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta is open to anyone who can build a boat from recycled cardboard and paddle it approximately 200 yards to the regatta finish line. First-place awards will be given for winners of races in five different categories: individual, youth, teens, family, and organizations or businesses. Special awards will be given for “Pride of the Fleet,” “Most Whimsical Boat,” and “Team Spirit.” Also, spectators will be asked to pick a “People’s Choice” award winner, while a special “Titanic Award” will be given for the “Most Dramatic Sinking!”

Boats may be any size, shape or design, but must be made of recycled cardboard. Boats should be painted with multiple coats of any one-part polyurethane or enamel paint. Boat decorations may be removed after judging, and prior to the race start.

Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta registration fee is $30, and participants can also register the day of the event. Participants also are encouraged to challenge others to race in the Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta for one-on-one bragging rights, and can do so by choosing the challenge option during registration. After all boat races are completed, skippers of cardboard boats may challenge another skipper and their boat to a race. There is a $15 fee for a challenge race, to be paid by both challengers. Challenges should be issued only to cardboard boats that are entered in the same regatta categories.

During the event, attendees can enjoy music, food, snacks, and beverages, and become better informed by the Reclaim Our River (ROR) partnership on how to protect Delaware’s waterways. The ROR-Nanticoke Series is devoted to bringing monthly events, workshops, and recreational activities to the Nanticoke Watershed. The series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with Delaware’s waterways and provides important information on water quality that can help in protecting aquatic resources.

The ROR partnership also welcomes event sponsors with proceeds going toward event costs, river restoration, and water quality education. Sponsorships begin at $50. Sponsors of this year’s Cardboard Boat Regatta include the Nanticoke River Yacht Club and Mow-N-Trim, a Seaford lawn care business. Judging for this year’s regatta is generously provided by Gallery 107 of Seaford.

To register for the event, and for rules and other information, please visit www.delawarewatersheds.org. For further assistance, please contact Alice Mohrman at 302-422-0847 or alice@delawarenaturesociety.org.

A video from the past few years of the Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDqFDY7eQWU.

Media contact: Philip Miller, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-672-1149, or philip.miller@delaware.gov

Vol. 47, No. 174

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DNREC to present ‘Gardening for Clean Water and Butterflies’ March 20 at Seaford Library as part of Reclaim Our River Program

SEAFORD – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Reclaim Our River (ROR) Program, in partnership with the Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center and the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, will host a free presentation on “Gardening for Clean Water and Butterflies” at 6 p.m. Monday, March 20 at the Seaford Library, 600 North Market Street Extended, Seaford, DE 19973.

Over the last 20 years, the monarch butterfly population worldwide has declined by 90 percent – a critical environmental loss since plants depend on pollinators like butterflies to reproduce. Pollinators enable flowering plants to reproduce so they can help purify water and prevent erosion through roots that hold the soil in place and foliage that buffers the impact of rainfall.

“ROR partnership members will share information on activities that support clean water, and a limited supply of milkweed seeds will be available,” said Philip Miller, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, Nonpoint Source Program. “Participants also will learn about this year’s 2017 ROR-Nanticoke Series, which again offers numerous opportunities to have fun around the water and learn surefire techniques for helping keep our waterways clean.”

The presentation will be led by Alice Mohrman from the Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, and will focus on gardening for clean water and butterflies. Ms. Mohrman will introduce participants to the life history of a variety of native butterflies and pollinators, and focus on how to invite these beneficial insects to a yard, deck, patio or balcony. Tips on landscaping properties, big or small, with attractive native plants to support butterfly habitat will also help reduce pollution in our local waterways. Ms. Mohrman also will share a few easy steps toward creating a Certified Wildlife HabitatTM.

For more information about on the presentation, please contact Alice Mohrman at 302-422-0847 or alice@delawarenaturesociety.org. For more information on the Reclaim Our River Program, please contact Philip Miller at 302-739-9939 or philip.miller@delaware.gov.

The Reclaim Our River – Nanticoke Series is devoted to bringing monthly events, workshops and recreational activities to the Nanticoke Watershed. The series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with Delaware’s waterways and provides important information on water quality that can help in protecting aquatic resources.

Contact: Philip Miller, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship Nonpoint Source Program, 302-739-9939, or philip.miller@delaware.gov.

Vol. 47, No. 55

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DNREC, Chesapeake Conservancy, U.S. Navy partner to acquire property for Sussex County’s Nanticoke Wildlife Area

LAUREL – Through a unique public-private partnership between the State of Delaware, the Chesapeake Conservancy and the U.S. Navy, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recently purchased 48 acres of pristine woodlands along a tributary of the Nanticoke River in Sussex County. As part of the state-owned Nanticoke Wildlife Area, the property adjoining Cod Creek features increasingly rare stands of Atlantic white cedar trees and an abundance of native wildlife, including some species of conservation concern.

This morning, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small joined the partners at Phillips Landing, the Nanticoke Wildlife Area’s public-access boat ramp, to celebrate the addition, which will be managed to protect wildlife habitat while allowing future conservation-compatible public access. The new property also expands a corridor of protected land beneath airspace used for naval flight research.

Officials at land preservation announcement.
Pictured, left to right: Jeff Downing, Mt. Cuba Center; Chuck Hunt, Superintendent, NPS Chesapeake Bay Office; U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Governor Jack Markell; Capt. Scott Starkey, Naval Air Station Patuxent River commanding officer; Kristin Thomasgard-Spence, REPI program director; DNREC Secretary David Small; Joel Dunn, Chesapeake Conservancy president and CEO; Chief Dennis Coker, Lenape Tribe. DNREC photo by Jennifer Fitzsimmons.

The Cod Creek property was purchased for $206,529, with $58,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program, $68,529 in state funds from Delaware’s Open Space Program and $80,000 in private funds from the Chesapeake Conservancy, which contributed private funds for land conservation from Mt. Cuba Center.

The property is the fifth conservation acquisition in recent years to which the Chesapeake Conservancy has contributed private funds that helped leverage state money to preserve land and create public access along the Nanticoke River and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. A key addition to this acquisition was the additional federal dollars procured through the REPI program.

“I am very grateful for the REPI program leadership and the U.S. Navy for working with the conservation community around the country and especially in Delaware,” said Sen. Coons. “It’s important to work together and to pool resources in order to conserve land that has strategic and biologic significance. This property in western Sussex being preserved will help conserve Delaware’s precious green space on the Captain John Smith Trail, and especially the mission of Naval Air Station Patuxent River.”

“Today we celebrate the addition of this key property to the beautiful Nanticoke Wildlife Area, as well as the innovative partnership behind its recent acquisition,” said Governor Markell. “This public-private partnership between the State, the Navy and our private conservation partners is the first of its kind in Delaware and provides a successful model that can be applied to future land protection projects along the Nanticoke River.”

“The Navy is excited to partner with Delaware to preserve land that not only benefits natural resources, but also sustains and supports military readiness while ensuring compatible land use,” said Capt. Scott Starkey, Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Patuxent River. “This parcel expands on the Navy’s current partnerships in the Nanticoke region and efforts to protect a corridor of land beneath the Navy’s Atlantic Test Range and special-use airspace used by our service men and women for essential flight research, development, test, evaluation and training.”

“The Nanticoke watershed is an ecological treasure with a rich cultural and natural heritage,” said DNREC Secretary David Small. “This innovative partnership brings federal, state and private organizations and funds together to protect a key piece of the landscape for habitat, water quality, outdoor recreation and this nation’s defense mission and we look forward to building on this success.”

“This is a true win for our service members, communities, and the environment,” said REPI Program Director Kristin Thomasgard-Spence. “What excites me the most about this announcement is how this partnership is protecting the critical test missions at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, while expanding important conservation corridors, and creating new opportunities for communities to enjoy the unique natural and cultural resources in this region. This effort exemplifies what the REPI program seeks to accomplish across the country – protection of critical DoD missions through efficient public and private sector collaboration.”

The State of Delaware, the Chesapeake Conservancy and the U.S. Navy have for several years been involved in a Chesapeake Bay landscape-scale preservation initiative called the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership. Through this partnership, the three groups were able to develop a framework to leverage state, federal and private dollars against one another in order to achieve land conservation goals established in the 2014 Chesapeake Watershed Agreement.

“This partnership shows that protecting the environment and defending the country go hand-in-hand,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn said. “Conserving this important land near the Nanticoke River maintains the military’s critical need to practice and test aircraft and protects rare plants along the nationally-recognized Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail. It’s a win-win situation for the Chesapeake Bay and for the nation.”

“Preservation of open space and healthy watersheds are critically important to maintaining robust, diverse communities of plants and animals. Mt. Cuba Center is pleased to support this collaborative conservation effort, because resilient ecosystems support a healthy community of humans as well,” said Mt. Cuba Center Executive Director Jeff Downing.
Located 5.5 miles west of the town of Laurel, the Cod Creek property is part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and features several key habitats: Atlantic white cedar swamp, wild rice tidal marsh and pond-lily tidal marsh. Several Delaware Species of Greatest Conservation Need are found in the area, including bald eagles, yellow-throated warblers, pied-billed grebes and two dragonflies, the harlequin darner and the royal river cruiser, along with a rare wetland plant, Long’s bittercress.

The property is part of a larger landscape-scale conservation plan developed under the Nanticoke Initiative, spearheaded by the Chesapeake Conservancy in partnership with Delaware and Maryland’s departments of natural resources, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy, Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Fund. The Initiative contributes to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, seeking to connect previously protected properties in an effort to create an 8,500-acre corridor of protected lands along the Nanticoke River. In addition to conserving wildlife habitat and allowing species room to adapt to climate change, the plan will ultimately enhance low-impact outdoor recreation and eco-tourism opportunities for Delawareans and visitors in the area.

The Chesapeake Watershed Agreement brought six states and the District of Columbia together to achieve an environmentally and economically sustainable Chesapeake Bay Watershed, with clean water, abundant life, conserved lands, water access, a vibrant cultural heritage and a diversity of engaged citizens and stakeholders. For more information on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, visit www.chesapeakebay.net/chesapeakebaywatershedagreement. For more information on the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership, visit www.chesapeakeconservation.org.

The Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to strengthen the connection between people and the watershed, conserve the landscapes and special places that sustain the Chesapeake’s unique natural and cultural resources, and restore landscapes, rivers, and habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region. For more information, please visit www.ChesapeakeConservancy.org.

The Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program serves as a tool for the Department of Defense to sustain our Nation’s military mission through cooperative land-use planning and integrated land protection with a variety of partners around installations and ranges. For more information, please visit www.repi.mil.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902; Megan McSwain, Chesapeake Conservancy, 443-554-0634; Lt. Cmdr. James Brindle, U.S. Department of Defense Public Affairs, 703-697-5331.

Vol. 46, No. 296


DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship Reclaim Our River program’s third-annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta set for Saturday, Aug. 6 on the Nanticoke

Cardboard-regatta-montageBLADES, Del. – The third annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta – presented by the Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, in conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Reclaim Our River Program, the Town of Blades and the Nanticoke River Sail & Power Squadron – will cast off Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Nanticoke River Public Marine Park, 26 N. Market Street, Blades, DE 19973. Sign-in and registration begin at noon, with judging of boats’ appearances at 1 p.m. and races starting at 2 p.m.

The Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta is open to anyone who can build a boat from recycled cardboard and paddle it approximately 200 yards to the regatta finish line. First-place awards will be given for winners of races in four different categories: individual, family, clubs and businesses, and non-profits and government organizations.

Boats may be any size, shape or design, but must be made of recycled cardboard. They may (and should) be painted with multiple coats of any one-part polyurethane or enamel paint. Special awards will be given for “Best Constructed Boat,” “Best Decorated Boat,” “Best Team Effort,” and “Most Whimsical Boat.” Decorations may be removed after aesthetic judging by Gallery 107 of Seaford, prior to the race start. Also, spectators will be asked to pick a “People’s Choice” award winner, while a special “Titanic Award” will be given for the best and “Most Dramatic Sinking!”

Participants can register the day of the event, but are encouraged to start building their boats as well as registering early for a discounted fee of $20. Registration fee is $30 the week of the event, July 31-Aug. 6. Participants are encouraged to challenge others to race in the cardboard regatta and can do so by choosing the challenge option during registration to ensure both parties will be in the same race.

During the event, attendees can enjoy music, grilled and baked foods as well as snacks and beverages from the Blades United Methodist Church, and find information from the Reclaim Our River (ROR) partnership on how to protect Delaware’s waterways.

The ROR partnership also welcomes event sponsors with proceeds going toward event costs, river restoration and water quality education. Sponsorships begin at $50.

More information, rules, flyer and an event entry form are available at www.delawarewatersheds.org, or by emailing Phil Miller or calling 302-290-3578.

A video from the past two years of the Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDqFDY7eQWU.

The Reclaim Our River – Nanticoke Series is devoted to bringing monthly events, workshops and recreational activities to the Nanticoke Watershed. The series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with Delaware’s waterways and provides important information on water quality that can help in protecting aquatic resources.

Contact: Contact: Philip Miller, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-672-1149, or philip.miller@delaware.gov

Vol. 46, No. 264

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Reclaim Our River Program to hold third annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta Aug. 6 on Nanticoke River

BLADES – The third annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta – presented by the Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, in conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Reclaim Our River Program, the Town of Blades and the Nanticoke River Sail & Power Squadron – will cast off on Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Nanticoke River Public Marine Park, 26 N. Market Street, Blades, DE 19973. Sign-in and registration begin at noon, with judging of boats’ appearances at 1 p.m. and races starting at 2 p.m.

The Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta is open to anyone who can build a boat from recycled cardboard and paddle it approximately 200 yards to the regatta finish line. First-place awards will be given for winners of races in four different categories: individual, family, clubs and businesses, and non-profits and government organizations.

Boats may be any size, shape or design, but must be made of recycled cardboard. They may (and should) be painted with multiple coats of any one-part polyurethane or enamel paint. Special awards will be given for “Best Constructed Boat,” “Best Decorated Boat,” “Best Team Effort” and “Most Whimsical Boat.” Decorations may be removed after judging, prior to the race start. Also, spectators will be asked to pick a “People’s Choice” award winner, while a special “Titanic Award” will be given for the best and “Most Dramatic Sinking!”

Participants can register the day of the event, but are encouraged to start building their boats as well as registering early for a discounted fee of $20. Registration fee the week of the event, July 31-Aug. 6, will be $30. Participants are encouraged to challenge others to race in the cardboard regatta and can do so by choosing the challenge option during registration to ensure both parties will be in the same race.

During the event, attendees can enjoy music, grilled and baked foods as well as snacks and beverages from the Mt. Olivet Church, and find information from the Reclaim Our River (ROR) partnership on how to protect Delaware’s waterways.

The ROR partnership also welcomes event sponsors with proceeds going toward event costs, river restoration and water quality education. Sponsorships begin at $50.

More information, rules, flyer and an event entry form are available at Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta, or by contacting Matt Babbitt at mailto:matt@delnature.orgor 302-422-0847, Ext.102.

A video from the past two years of the Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDqFDY7eQWU

The Reclaim Our River – Nanticoke Series is devoted to bringing monthly events, workshops and recreational activities to the Nanticoke Watershed. The series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with Delaware’s waterways and provides important information on water quality that can help in protecting aquatic resources.

CONTACT: Philip Miller, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-672-1149, or philip.miller@delaware.gov

Vol. 46, No. 247